D2 the dog was killed by a beaver trap on Friday, April 17, while on a walk at Hileman Landing County Park off River Road. Mo Strader and Vonnie Willard have owned and loved the black Lab since she was rehomed to them 10 months ago, and they want people to know that there could still be traps out there.
Strader says they walk the dogs at Hileman at least five days a week and have been going there for around three years. Not far from the trail, she says, is a creek and a pond where there has been beaver activity this year and last year. Returning from a 3-mile walk with Willard, D2 ran up a little hill and across a pond.
Willard writes in a Facebook post, “All I heard was a yelp.”
Strader says the trap, which appears to be a conibear trap, killed D2 almost instantaneously. Hileman, like many Lane County parks, is popular with dog walkers, hikers and families with children.
The Oregon State Police investigated and say the trap that killed D2 was legal because it was on private land and the owner had “made attempts to fence and label this property as private in the past.” Willard says OSP also told her that she had violated leash laws.
The Lane County and OSP investigations took several days. County Spokesman Trevor Steele says the county also determined the trap was on private land.
Steele says the boundary was unclear in the area where D2 was killed, but the property owner has since posted “no trespassing signs” and put a fence across where the trail crossed out of the park onto private land.
Willard says although Oregon law does not require trapping signs to be posted on private land, “He didn’t put up a sign knowing people use the park every day.” She adds, “He knew what it could do.”
This is not the first dog in Oregon caught or killed in a trap set to catch beaver or other animals. According to advocacy group Predator Defense when an Australian shepherd mix named Fritz was killed in a conibear trap in January 2013, it was the third dog injured or killed on or very close to public lands in Oregon within a year.
Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense says a dog was trapped and injured in Bend last month. Predator Defense and the group Trap Free Oregon have been working to change or end trapping in the state. Fahy says the laws on trapping “are a joke, they are like Swiss cheese, in so many ways no one is held accountable.”
Strader and Willard are asking people to ensure D2’s death was not in vain and help them work to change Oregon’s trapping laws. “I want to protect people,” Willard says.
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